Archaistic Statuette of Athena


About this object

Statuette of Athena, sculpted in the Archaistic style of the Palladion type which was fashionable in Rome particularly during the reign of Claudius ( 41-54 AD ). The head and body are both ancient, but from different statues and of different marble. The goddess is in a frontal position with both her feet straight and holds the atrributes common to this type: the shield and the spear. She is smaller than lifesize and has a rigid pose. She wears a Corinthian helmet with an elaborate crest and she is holding the shield on her left arm while the right arm is raised and bent holding the remnants of possibly a spear. Her peplos is heavily pleated, and its long overfold pleats end in an inverted V at the lower hem. The vertical skirt folds descend to her ankles. The aegis is very large and seems be a protective breastplate rather than an apotropaic device. The Medusa is also large and has her tongue stretched out and a smiling mouth. The lionskin belt along Athena's body is unusual but may derive from the Athena Albani and the Dresden Athena. The head is a mixture of ancient and modern work and the face is classical and not in line with the archaicising body.

Blundell described her torso as modern and Italian. The arms and legs from the knees downwards are new and there are restorations on the tip of the nose, the chin, the helmet crest, the snaky edge of the aegis and in small patches of the drapery.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    1350 mm x 495 mm x 250 mm
  • Note
    Ashmole: the statuette has parallels with the Roman Emperor Claudius' revival of the Archaistic image of the Promachos ( advancing in fight ) Athens of Thessaly in coins from that era and the head is a copy of a work from the 5th centuty BC.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); 1st Baron Cawdor (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

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  • Sale of the effects of 1st Baron Cawdor

    Start date: 1800-06
    End date: 1800-06
    Description: Sale of the effects of John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor, in London.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: 1800-06
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • 1st Baron Cawdor

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1800-06
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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